Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.09
Liaison Lissette Hernandez
Submission Date Aug. 22, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Florida International University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Alexandra Dutton
Program Manager
Office of University Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
573 Acres

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds:
Area (double-counting is not allowed)
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses a four-tiered approach 346 Acres
Area managed in accordance with an organic land care standard or sustainable landscape management program that has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials 0 Acres
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Acres
Total area of managed grounds 346 Acres

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds (e.g. the footprint of buildings and impervious surfaces, experimental agricultural land, areas that are not regularly managed or maintained):

Of the 573 total acres of FIU, 227 acres are building footprint, leaving 346 acres of land to be managed.

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:

A copy of the IPM plan or program:

A brief description of the IPM program:

Integrated Pest Management practices are used on all of FIU's grounds. Our IPM plan is an approach to solving pest problems by applying knowledge about the pest to prevent them from damaging the landscape. IPM means responding to pest problems with the most effective least risk option. Under an IPM approach, actions are taken to control insects, disease or weed problems only when their numbers exceed acceptable levels. These methods are done in three stages: prevention, observation, and intervention. When considering these actions, all pest management methods should be reviewed including natural, biological, mechanical, cultural and finally chemical means.

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:

A brief description of the organic land standard or landscape management program that has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials:

A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:

FIU strives to use native plants whenever possible. Using native plants help conserve water and also generally require less maintenance and minimize the need for fertilizers and pesticides.

FIU has made major strides in recent years to incorporate more native plants into the landscaping throughout all of its campuses. With functional and attractive features like bioswales, native littoral zones, butterfly gardens, and mangrove areas, FIU is providing much needed food, shelter, and breeding habitat for wildlife.

In the event a non-native species is chosen, the alternative species chosen would be a non-invasive naturalized plant/tree that fits the right plant for the right location and often meets or exceeds native plantings.

A brief description of the institution's approach to hydrology and water use:

Integrity of the natural hydrology at the BBC campus is partially being restored with a local government partnership. Ongoing work to remove invasive tree species such as Australian Pine and the soil were removed to plant mangroves that would help restore natural hydrology of the campus. The university also participates in similar projects in surrounding areas of Biscayne Bay that improve the natural processes.

A brief description of the institution's approach to materials management and waste minimization (e.g. composting and/or mulching on-site waste):

FIU's landscape material management helps minimize waste with the following practices:
• We no longer use flowering annuals.
•The mulch we use helps retain soil moisture, prevent soil erosion, and conserves water.
•We grasscycle rather than collect and discard grass clippings.
•BMP for irrigation management (adhere to or beat the SFWMD policies, installed rain sensors and water flow meters on all irrigation systems. )
•Plant longevity is extended by choosing the right plant for right location.
•Materials such as bagged mulch are purchased in bulk shipments.
•Irrigation comes from storm water retention ponds.
•FIU's organic garden has partnered with dining services to recover pre-consumer food waste for compost that is used to amend the garden soils.
•FIU Nature Preserve trimmings are cut and left in place or within the preserve to decompose in place and reduce waste. Invasive seeding plants are discarded if not suitable for compost or decomposing in place.
•Some sloped areas of turf are being leveled and converted to native butterfly gardens reducing turf management requirements.

A brief description of the institution's approach to energy-efficient landscape design:

A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution (e.g. use of environmentally preferable landscaping materials, initiatives to reduce the impacts of ice and snow removal, wildfire prevention):

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.